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Thread: Which way do musicians make more money?

  1. #51

    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMatt View Post
    It took us a long time to sell 1000 cds at gigs. The first 2 or 3 hundred went to production cost. The rest paid for gas, rooms, food, beer, gear...we never distributed profits, it just went into the slush fund.
    Hey! I bought one of those 1,000 CDs (home-made self-burned and I think maybe a sharpie instead of a label?) at shows years and years and years ago-- well before I started playing at a Gig at Big Sky. I don't know where that disk is but I still sing random bits of the ski bluegrass song-- "She's my summer love, but just my winter friend. When the snow begins to fall..." to myself every once in a while.

  2. #52
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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    Quote Originally Posted by KEB View Post
    Hey! I bought one of those 1,000 CDs (home-made self-burned and I think maybe a sharpie instead of a label?) at shows years and years and years ago-- well before I started playing at a Gig at Big Sky. I don't know where that disk is but I still sing random bits of the ski bluegrass song-- "She's my summer love, but just my winter friend. When the snow begins to fall..." to myself every once in a while.
    Sweet! Glad you liked the ski song!
    We did a CD Baby printed, fully produced studio album for our last cd, I think that is a thing of the past for small acts to try to sell cds as a source of revenue. We’ve sold 8 or so live albums through the years, more profitable to not have studio and mastering fees.
    I started giving away cds towards the end of our last supply, and gave one to a kid, probably 8 yrs old, and he didn’t know what a cd was.LOL!
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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMatt View Post
    Sweet! Glad you liked the ski song!
    We did a CD Baby printed, fully produced studio album for our last cd, I think that is a thing of the past for small acts to try to sell cds as a source of revenue. We’ve sold 8 or so live albums through the years, more profitable to not have studio and mastering fees.
    I started giving away cds towards the end of our last supply, and gave one to a kid, probably 8 yrs old, and he didn’t know what a cd was.LOL!
    So, why have CD's become a thing of the past for small acts? Is it because people are turning to streaming, where obviously the artists don't make squat? Is ithis preference for streaming age related? I'd prefer to have a CD or something in hand with artwork on it (but sharpie would be okay too), but then again, I am of a certain age....

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    So, why have CD's become a thing of the past for small acts? Is it because people are turning to streaming, where obviously the artists don't make squat? Is ithis preference for streaming age related? I'd prefer to have a CD or something in hand with artwork on it (but sharpie would be okay too), but then again, I am of a certain age....
    And you're showing it. When I ask for a CD, I tell the musicians, "I'm an old guy, I like to have a 'thing' when I buy music." CD's are becoming obsolete. As someone said, it's getting hard to find machines to play them on. Most young people listen to MP3's or streaming services. Many young folks who I know are more likely to listen to vinyl than CD's. I had to stop giving CD's as gifts to my adult daughters. It's hard on those of us who like art and liner notes, and who ask, "Who played mandolin on that track?"
    Last edited by Ranald; Feb-10-2021 at 8:25pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    On the road playing a lot.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    The good old Grateful Dead model. It worked for them for many years.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    I’d follow up to say that the way we make money in my band is to gig. Private events and special events are what pay the bills. Playing at establishments that sell alcohol is where we advertise our skills. Selling cds or shirts or stickers are not ways to generate revenue. We plan to use all future physical media of our music to be a promotional tool. Live performance is how all of our music ancestors made a living (with the exception of the rare benefactor).
    I love to gig, and look forward to getting back to three a week gigs, like the good old days!
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  10. #58

    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    The last two comments, and many others, are well-reflected in the movie "Who the **** is Arthur Fogel?" In the big leagues, live performance is now the money-maker; the model has shifted from touring to support the album to producing/releasing songs to support the tour. Fascinating movie, with so much music biz info coming so thick and fast that I'm going to have to watch it again.

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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    The great thing about CDs is you can listen to them on the way home from the show, of course there were those few times we happen to take a car without a CD player to the show....
    I'll admit these days if I like a CD first thing I do is rip it to MP3 so I can put it on a USB stick or play it through my home system, I do not believe this is ripping the artist off.
    I had a few bummer experiences with downloads purchased at shows- oddly more from big ticket names than from local or regional acts.
    Maybe a cool method would be to have the music downloadable to a phone by joining a private wifi network at the show, for the cost of the music?
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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    I have read accounts of ill-treatment and scorn concerning musicians during the Classical period. The prevailing attitude seems to have been that they were a drunken, lazy, irresponsible lot, scoundrels who could only play their parts in an orchestra if sheet music were placed in front of their bleary eyes.
    Some of those stories had some small minority basis in fact. Back about 1970, I had violin lessons from a wonderful lady violinist with 12 cats who at one time played in the Ivy Benson All Girl Band. She lied about her age at 16 to get into the Halle Orchestra (about 1930?), which had a heavy touring schedule. She said they travelled in three buses - the Lovers bus, The Drunkards bus, and the Others bus

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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmsweeney View Post
    The great thing about CDs is you can listen to them on the way home from the show, of course there were those few times we happen to take a car without a CD player to the show....
    I wouldn't be surprised if CDs make a comeback. My boy currently (in UK lockdown) records psychedlic metal in our big garden shed, putting down drums, bass, guitars, fiddle, (yes) some mandolin, and WURDZ (you wouldn't call them vocals) on a 24 track portastudio. That (young!) audience actively seeks low-fi, so he gets vinyl pressed and sells them online (shhhh...) as limited issue records recorded at a secret location by cool 4 and 5 piece bands who might just be bigger names masquerading as....got the picture ? It's good to see young musicians still have a sense of humour. Thing is, lots of his metal friends are into vinyl.

    I have maybe 800 CDs and a car with no CD player. I bought a device that's a box with an HDD inside that rips and catalogues them, then I put them all on a thumb drive and leave that in the USB socket in the car. I buy CDs, I never download, because you get a whole other experience of a band whenn you have some history, some photos, some lyrics...

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  16. #62

    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmsweeney View Post
    I had a few bummer experiences with downloads purchased at shows- oddly more from big ticket names than from local or regional acts.
    Maybe a cool method would be to have the music downloadable to a phone by joining a private wifi network at the show, for the cost of the music?
    I think that "buy a CD of the show on the way out of the show" just does not give enough time to compile a good mix. I have friends who are tapers, there is quite an art to it, even when you have a board patch.

    I prefer to listen to live shows that have been uploaded to the archive or that have been put up on Nugs by the band. Both of these operate with the consent of the bands, with Nugs putting money in their pockets.

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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Man View Post
    I think that "buy a CD of the show on the way out of the show" just does not give enough time to compile a good mix. I have friends who are tapers, there is quite an art to it, even when you have a board patch.
    Good point but not what I meant - I almost never purchase live recordings of shows I attended, as I probably would not listen to it more than once. I meant "produced" music that is on sale at the show. I prefer to purchase it there, rather than through Spotify or some other streaming service.

    Used to be touring musicians would be promoting the latest CD or album release, and if some of that "unheard music" inspired me I would likely add it to my collection.
    I am from the time where folks would accumulate walls full of vinyl. I understand that method of distributing music has changed, and it would be foolish of any artist to reject it over something like "principle".
    The integrity of the music does not change with the packaging, I know Neil Young disagrees with that.

    I honestly never could appreciate the concept of exchanging tapes of Dead shows, the sound quality was just horrible on so many of them.
    But that's just me, what do I know.
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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxr View Post
    I have maybe 800 CDs and a car with no CD player.
    Been there, done that! My solution, though, was to get an interface that went into the tape slot, into which I could plug my CD Walkman. The nice actual Sony Walkman was also stolen when my F-12 got nabbed, and though I had another (Panasonic) which I pressed into service, it was never the same, somehow. That van is gone, and the new one came with a freakin' DVD player that also plays CDs, of course, as well as provides me with the first working radio I've had in a vehicle in a decade. But what do I listen to, more than anything else while driving? Youtube videos on my phone. That's because whatever random musical notion that pops into my mind can usually find realization via the interweb this way. As to new product - I'm not paying a lot of attention, by and large, though if I were interested, I could find songs this way - google and play. Most of the time, I'd rather run some song idea of mine through my mind than listen to someone else's music. That's what I really should be devoted to - producing music, not receiving it.

    Quote Originally Posted by tmsweeney View Post
    I honestly never could appreciate the concept of exchanging tapes of Dead shows, the sound quality was just horrible on so many of them.
    The sound quality got better over the years, as the quality of equipment at every step of the process improved. But it was always the quality of the performance that was the key factor. Whether it was your favorite version of a particular song that intrigued you, or the overall show, in terms of song selection or renditions, or if it was a show you went to - or missed - and you wanted to relive the experience or experience what you had missed, there were plenty of reasons to delve into this world. Yes, there were often compromises - musical quality vs sound quality - but you had your options and you made your choices.

    For instance, the 8/13/75 show from GAMH in SF is one of my favorites. It has one of my favorite versions of one of my favorite songs, "Eyes Of The World," and much more. Indeed, it's this version and not the studio recording that the jukebox in my brain plays most often. This show ended up being the first The Dead released on their own label. Also, it was my birthday. The flip side would be a tape of the first time I saw them - an impromptu show with Jefferson Airplane from Place Ville Marie, Montreal Expo 8/6/1967. They were there, they had some free time, they set up and played, and blew my teenage mind. Tapes of this show just don't exist, so it seems. But I would love one just to see how good it really was, especially the encore jam by the combined bands on "Gloria."

    Quote Originally Posted by tmsweeney View Post
    Good point but not what I meant
    Rambling, meandering, tangential chatter? That hardly ever happens around here. /
    Last edited by journeybear; Feb-14-2021 at 10:17am. Reason: Rambling, meandering, tangential chatter - and speeling, always speeling
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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmsweeney View Post

    I honestly never could appreciate the concept of exchanging tapes of Dead shows, the sound quality was just horrible on so many of them.
    But that's just me, what do I know.
    I like the group Dead And Company, with John Mayer on guitar, which I think has revitalised the Grateful Dead (the group still includes Bob Weir and the two drummers, but not Phil Lesh ) and they have put a whole bunch of live shows up on Spotify. I doubt if they make much money from that, but I suppose it is in keeping with their old approach of encouraging taping to get their live music out there. The sound quality is likely to be much better than the old Dead tapes, and they have control over it. As a matter of fact I'm listening to some just now.
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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    Apparently if your Copyrighted lyrics , of a pop song, are used on a TV show ,

    example Eddy Money's '2 tickets to Paradise' lines, during Comedy Central's 'the Office'. season 3 Christmas party episode..

    Ref, video clip title, on 'Looper': The Office Joke That Cost NBC $60,000 (paid to Columbia records)

    How much trickled down to Eddy is unknown..




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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    I see that sort of thing fairly often on TV talk shows, when the band or the host starts to play some well-known tune in response to a bit of conversation, and the host has to call it off quickly, often with a quip to the effect that they can't afford to play that. This happens most often with "Happy Birthday," whose publishing company is very proactive regarding royalties. I forget how few notes can be played without incurring penalty, but it's not much - like eight notes or two bars or some such. And yes - I'm sure most of the money would be going to the publisher or copyright owner, not the writer.
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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    The status of "Happy Birthday" has changed in recent years; you'll hear it in movies now. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court said that the copyright was invalid in the first place. I hope the copyright holders can't sleep until they've given money to the estate of everyone who had to pay them royalties. A few years back, I noticed that restaurant staff always had some obscure birthday song to sing when they brought a birthday cake to a customer. That's in Canada. I assume it was the same in the USA.

    See "Copyright," below:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Birthday_to_You
    Last edited by Ranald; Feb-21-2021 at 8:54pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    Holy wow! That's happy news, indeed! Going back over five years ... Still doesn't seem to be common knowledge, as the song still gets the aforementioned circumspect treatment. So the Unhappy Birthday Age, running from when Warner/Chappell acquired the rights in 1988 until 9/22/15, that glorious day when a federal judge ruled against them, is over. The 27-year-long reign of terror has been cast onto the dungheap of history. Once again, celebrants of natal days can lift their voices in song, freely, cheerfully, giddily. Hurray!

    Thank you so much! I've no idea how I'd not heard this till now. Wasn't front page news, apparently. Should have been.

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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    We no longer have to stuff blankets around the door cracks or turn off all our devices before our loved ones sing Happy Birthday to us. That story got a lot of coverage in Canada. Perhaps you should listen to CBC, or else ask the snowbirds, what's new?
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    Nah, I get all the news I need to know right here at the Mandolin Café.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    By the way, I guess I didn't say how glad I am that "Happy Birthday" has been ruled to be in the public domain, and if I'm reading it right, always was, or at least for a long time it was. It always should have been, after a certain point long ago. I'm generally in favor of songwriters getting their due. But songs like this, that are so much in public usage, so commonly considered virtually a folk song, belonging to everybody, should be just that. Especially this song, so deeply connected to well-wishes on joyous occasions.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Nah, I get all the news I need to know right here at the Mandolin Café.
    Yeah, but I mean if you don't want to wait five years, as with this story.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: Which way do musicians make more money?

    Oh, I know. And usually the carrier pigeon service I rely on for offline news is more reliable and just a bit quicker. There are inherent difficulties in this method of information dissemination, but five years does strike me as a bit much. But all it takes is one errant pigeon or one unusually dedicated hawk to cause a break in the chain. As to online news, I haven't been on the Café much until recently.

    That said, there's always a difference between "need to know" and "want to know." Not knowing this hasn't affected me too much. I've played "Happy Birthday" upon request plenty, before and after the court decision, and encountered no untoward effects at any time. It does seem I'm not the only one who didn't know about this either, as I've noticed the dynamic I mentioned earlier several times over the last five years. I surmise this was not front page news, though it should have been. It's not only a charming human interest story, it's a cultural milestone.
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